Resort Profile: Wengen
|By adamrowden, 20 Jul '12 at 09:28
Wengen is a beautifully picturesque Swiss resort that is set in some truly spectacular scenery. It welcomed skiing at the turn of the century and is one of a handful of ‘original’ downhill skiing destinations pioneered by British tourists (it celebrated 110 years of winter sports in the area in 1998 ).
The resort is the base of the famous Downhill Only Club (DHO), established in 1924 when the early English visitors first persuaded the locals to keep the railway running in the winter to get a lift up the mountains, then jump out and ski 'downhill only'. Many members of the Club still return every year, content to go back to the same resort annually, (often the same week in the same room in the same hotel).
Wengen first appeared 'on the map' in the 1880s, before alpine skiing was invented, with the construction of the Wengenalpbahn, the first mountain railway in the area. This ultimately went on to reach the legendary Jungfraujoch, Europe's highest railway station, perched at 3454 metres (11,332 feet). Much of today's Wengen was then build on a sunny 'balcony' on the mountain along one main street ending, at the station. It is still reached by the antique but eternally efficient cog railway, which connects with the international European rail network. Car drivers must leave their vehicles in a carpark in the valley and take the train up.
No introduction to Wengen is complete without mention of its other legendary and spectacular attraction - the Annual Lauberhorn World Cup downhill course, many people believe that it is the greatest there is.
If you are a beginner then you are in luck as Wengen has a cracking little beginner’s area in the village, however, this resort is most certainly best for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. If you are an expert or more advanced rider then you will be pretty easy to please too as Wengen has a huge variety of off-piste terrain and some great challenging pistes too.
- Picturesque resort
- Great for intermediates
- Plenty of challenging backcountry
- The Annual Lauberhorn World Cup downhill course
- Traditional feel
- Good resort for families
- Calm atmosphere
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